Over the previous few weeks, the massive majority of migratory birds at Londolozi have arrived. There are round 66 completely different fowl species that be part of us right here at Londolozi for our summer season months. Some sooner than others, some to breed and a few to feed on the abundance of bugs that emerge with the nice and cozy moist summer season climate. Every one among them having its personal attention-grabbing story.
However there’s one I need to concentrate on at this time, the Wahlberg’s Eagle. These medium-sized birds of prey transfer steadily southwards over the equator from their winter hang-outs in Central, North and West Africa (international locations akin to Nigeria, Sudan, Cameroon, and Chad), making use of acquainted landmarks they’ve flown over on many related journeys, heading finally to the identical nests they’ve used on many events earlier than.
Wahlberg’s Eagles breed in southern Africa, the place they journey again to the identical space yr after yr to reuse the very same nest as earlier than. Because of this we get to recognise the identical people that return. One satellite-tracked fowl traveled from the Kruger Nationwide Park by way of the DRC all the way in which to Chad in 42 days. One can solely think about the challenges this fowl went by way of on its lengthy journey.
Plumage color can differ vastly amongst Wahlberg’s Eagles, with some being darkish brown and others being very pale. Like most eagle species, Wahlberg’s are monogamous, mating for all times, they usually return every year to re-claim their specific patch of African bushveld with a view to breed and lift a chick earlier than winter returns and meals availability drops.
One of many fundamental causes these eagles arrive early within the season is to make the nest prepared for breeding, which they do by gathering further sticks and small branches to restore a number of the injury of the six months they’ve been away. As soon as the egg has been laid (it’s virtually all the time just one egg that’s laid) it’s a additional 44-46 days earlier than it hatches, after which the fledgling interval is round 70 days earlier than the younger fowl leaves the nest.
The grownup pair divide parental tasks throughout this era, with the male doing a lot of the searching and the feminine a lot of the incubating. The male returns with the meals which the feminine then tears into extra manageable items for the chick to eat.
After a profitable breeding season, the Wahlberg’s Eagles then return additional north to spend the cooler months in an space of hotter climate and extra plentiful meals sources. There they are going to stay for southern Africa’s winter, roaming many hundreds of sq. kilometres, gathering their energy to embark on the lengthy journey manner south to repeat the cycle another time.